Jeff Nolder

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    22 hours, 52 minutes ago

    Hi again, Julie -I think the pygidium is Flexicalymene meeki.  The cephalon could be, as well, but there  isn’t enough exposed for me to be sure.  I’m glad you liked SW WI; hard to get good exposures here in the drifted area of SE WI.

  • Profile photo of Jeff Nolder
    23 hours, 15 minutes ago

    Thank you, Julie.  On the other hand, her twin brother bought me a lawnmower…

  • Profile photo of Jeff Nolder
    1 day, 2 hours ago

    She’s always had artistic talent but she chose teaching high school English/literature instead.  Now all she has to do is find an appropriate position.

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    Jeff Nolder posted a new activity comment
    1 day, 3 hours ago

    As an undergrad I took a paleo course from Steve Stanley. He was very much into structure-function, and our first assignment was drawing a live clam’s descent into sediment. He had informal debates with Bob Bakker that were legendary. Of course, Bakker loved debates, and would hold hallway discussions with anyone.
    Geez, reminiscing is becoming a habit with me.

  • Profile photo of Jeff Nolder
    1 day, 10 hours ago

    This isn’t a field photo, but my younger daughter figured fossil 022464 for me as a Fathers’ Day present.  To me it is beautiful….

  • Profile photo of Jeff Nolder
    Jeff Nolder posted an update
    3 days, 2 hours ago

    Hi, Eleanor – Must be a backdoor glitch, but it’s timely.  I plan to show off a beautiful figure my younger daughter drew (Fathers’ Day present) of the Domatoceras specimen.  What better venue, right?  As soon as the conditions are good I’ll take a picture and pass it on.

    Figuring fossil specimens is a lost art.  Before photography was widely available, paleontologists were judged as much by their drawing ability as the other aspects of research.

    • Indeed, you are correct! Before @rleder returned to Germany, he often espoused the need for artistic skills as a paleontologist. (Especially for the all-important field notes!)

      • As an undergrad I took a paleo course from Steve Stanley. He was very much into structure-function, and our first assignment was drawing a live clam’s descent into sediment. He had informal debates with Bob Bakker that were legendary. Of course, Bakker loved debates, and would hold hallway discussions with anyone.
        Geez, reminiscing is becoming a habit with me.

  • Profile photo of Jeff Nolder
    Jeff Nolder and Marjorie Laster are now friends
    1 week, 4 days ago
  • Profile photo of Jeff Nolder
    Jeff Nolder posted a new activity comment
    1 week, 5 days ago

    Hi, Sally – not familiar with this provenance, but it’s very likely a piece of coral. Most coral broken from its framework is bumpy, irregular and sharp; it gets smoothed out by movement along the bottom by currents.

  • Profile photo of Jeff Nolder
    2 weeks ago

    Hi, Wayne – I checked “Fossils of Ohio” (OGS Bulletin 70, 1996) and saw nothing similar. I’m surprised they’re not in Kraft. Of course, I’m mostly into Pennsylvanian inverts.

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    Jeff Nolder replied to the topic On the Rocks in the forum Paleontology Field Stories
    1 month ago

    Early spring is a really sweet time to wander through the western Virginia countryside.  A friend and coworker had invited me on a field trip run by the geoscience department of George Washington University as an “experienced field hand” (I was a marine geophysicist but didn’t see any ships around).  We were to depart at 7 AM; we finally left DC at 9 – good thing it was a Saturday morning.  There was a school van and about fifteen other vehicles in the caravan.

    An associate professor and two assistants led the group, which consisted mostly of first- and second-year undergrads looking to fulfill science credit requirements, a smattering of grad students (apparently for the same reason), and a few invitees.  It had rained the night before but the weather was  sunny and cool, perfect for some serious observation and discussion.  Three outcrops in early to middle Cambrian carbonates were on the agenda.  After a couple hours we reached the first stop, a long roadcut in bedded dolomitic limestone next to an inviting pasture scattered with large oaks.  As folks jumped out of their vehicles, most scattered along the outcrop, hammers and magnifiers at the ready.  They had been told that the chances of finding trilobites were good.  There was no  discussion of the geology or the other beasts that might be there.

    After about fifteen minutes of hammers clinking and folks running to the leaders for identification of various finds, I walked up to the pasture.  One of the grad students was sitting cross-legged on the ground pounding slowly on a slab of rock.  On my approach, he looked up at me, back down to the rock, got up and wandered toward an oak, under which a group was gathered.  I went back to the rock, levered it out of the sod with my chisel, and cleaned it on the grass.

    I had no idea what I was seeing, but it looked very well-preserved.  I took it to show the group under the tree.   The leader wasn’t sure of the ID, but he suggested “Nidulites pyriformis”, a predecessor of corals and sponges.  Nobody else showed much interest; they were admiring a pygidium (which looked to me very much like an embedded brach, but what the hell).

    The next outcrop was a muddy disappointment, and by popular demand we retired to a cottage owned by one of the leaders for the evening.  Bonfire lit, beer, hot dogs, etc., consumed, tents pitched and sleeping arrangements arranged, we (well, some of us) retired.  That night, it rained again, and the next morning the group was given the option of returning to DC or getting soaked and muddy.  Thus began the great race back to the city.

    The archaeocyathid  find is now safely housed as fossil 22704 at the Virginia Museum of Natural History.

  • Profile photo of Jeff Nolder
    Jeff Nolder replied to the topic On the Rocks in the forum Ideas for New Forums
    1 month ago

    Howdy, Eleanor.  I’d be happy to moderate a forum that will likely require little moderation but generate lots of hoots.  I have a few stories that may be of some interest.  Right now I’m waiting to see if @alexander-hastings got the Archie specimen; it was supposed to arrive in Martinsville today.  Story tonight…

  • Profile photo of Jeff Nolder
    Jeff Nolder started the topic On the Rocks in the forum Ideas for New Forums
    1 month, 1 week ago

    I suggest a topic involving our favorite (or least favorite) experiences in the field.  This may be more appropriate to the “photos” forum, but I have some great tales to tell, as I suspect many other fossilphiles do.  Whaddya think, Eleanor?

  • Profile photo of Jeff Nolder
    Jeff Nolder posted a new activity comment
    1 month, 1 week ago

    I got tired of the neat stuff sitting in my basement. Some of it is going to Carnegie, but this one os from VA, and @nathan-newell told me about VMNH. I contacted them and Alex was interested. Lotsa Archies in the Virginia Cambrian, but they’re not often this well-preserved. I’d like this stuff to be available.

    • Thanks again, Jeff, we’ll be glad to have it! As you say, it’s a really nice example, and unlike a lot of donations you have a pretty good idea where it came from, so it will definitely be useful. Slight correction, I’m the Curator for Paleontology here at the VMNH, not the director, but thanks for the “promotion”!

  • Profile photo of Jeff Nolder
    Jeff Nolder posted an update
    1 month, 2 weeks ago

    To all you Gators ot there – I’ll be sending an Archaeocyathid specimen (pictured in the fossil list) to the Virginia Museum of Natural History.  Alex Hastings, director of VMNH, is a Gator, too.  If email is any indication, he’s a good guy.

    • Go Gators! @alexander-hastings, looks like you’re getting a nice specimen for the museum! @jeff-nolder what interested you in sending it off to the museum?

      • I got tired of the neat stuff sitting in my basement. Some of it is going to Carnegie, but this one os from VA, and @nathan-newell told me about VMNH. I contacted them and Alex was interested. Lotsa Archies in the Virginia Cambrian, but they’re not often this well-preserved. I’d like this stuff to be available.

        • Thanks again, Jeff, we’ll be glad to have it! As you say, it’s a really nice example, and unlike a lot of donations you have a pretty good idea where it came from, so it will definitely be useful. Slight correction, I’m the Curator for Paleontology here at the VMNH, not the director, but thanks for the “promotion”!

  • Profile photo of Jeff Nolder
    Jeff Nolder commented on their own Fossil #022772
    1 month, 2 weeks ago

    These are pretty pieces of “petrified” (permineralized) wood. The smaller piece is mineralized with siderite, the larger appears to have more silica.

  • Profile photo of Jeff Nolder
    Jeff Nolder posted an update
    1 month, 2 weeks ago

    hi, @nathan-newell – the VMNH got back to me about the specimen; they’re pretty happy about it.  Thanks for the rec.

  • Profile photo of Jeff Nolder
    Jeff Nolder commented on their own Fossil #022770
    1 month, 2 weeks ago

    The Antiquatonia (the larger one in the photo) was encased in an ironstone nodule; the smaller specimen is Derbyia crassa. Both are large for their species, indicating long and undisturbed growth. I included these guys to make the Bodacious Brach folks happy…

  • Profile photo of Jeff Nolder
    Jeff Nolder posted a new activity comment
    1 month, 2 weeks ago

    Hi, Lisa – I misread your question the first time, sorry. The fossils I’m donationg are of interest because they are relatively rare and in very good states of preservation. I’ve posted some of them here (Domatoceras, Whittleseya, Pterochiton and Heliospongia). CMNH specializes in Pennsylvanian inverts, but they like vertebrates and plants, too. I know one of the associates there who is very familiar with the region and the site from which many of them came.

    • Hi Jeff- I checked out your fossil specimen gallery, glad the CMNH is interested in your rare and well-preserved fossils. Have you been building your collection for a long while?

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    Jeff Nolder and Nathan Newell are now friends
    1 month, 2 weeks ago
  • Profile photo of Jeff Nolder
    Jeff Nolder posted a new activity comment
    1 month, 2 weeks ago

    This looks like a big chert nodule, the kind often found in dolomites and dolomitic limestone. Such nodules can take on all kinds of shapes and colors. Apart from that, the thing looks like a head sculpture of Richard Nixon.

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